Welcoming Europe: more rights for migrants and refugees

The European Citizens Initiative (ECI) “Welcoming Europe” has been presented in Rome the last 19th April by some NGOs (as Oxfam, Actionaid, Legambiente and many others among them) with the aim to save migrants and refugees lives and to protect them from abuses and inequity.

This proposal rests on three pillars:

– Saving lives is not a crime

– Freedom of welcoming refugees

– Human rights are inviolable

Saving life is not a crime

Through “Welcoming Europe” these NGOs want to propose the reformation of the European Directive 2002/90/EC to prevent the criminalisation of humanitarian actions made by NGOs volunteers and activists towards migrants, as it happens today.

Freedom of welcoming refugees

The creation of safe passages and the improvement of individual sponsorship programmes for refugees is another point of this proposal. It could be developed through the modification of the European Regulation n. 516/2014, that creates the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund: with this ECI is asked to European Commission to modify the funding system and to enlarge it to civil society players, who could become refugees sponsors, allowing in this way their entrance in Europe.

Human Rights are inviolable

The ECI promoters want to protect all the victims of abuses, mistreatments and human rights violations, at the borders of European Union and inside each Member State. They propose to make more accessible and sure for refugees and migrants reporting a crime against them. Moreover, it is asked to ease the access in the labour market of refugees and migrants at European Level.

This proposal, to be submitted to European Commission, needs to collect 1 million of signatures from at least 7 European countries: to succeed, promoting committees have been created in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary.

The Italian promoters of this initiative are: ActionAid, Oxfam, “Truth and Justice for the new Desaparecidos of the Mediterranean Sea”, Legambiente, Acli, Arci, Italian Federation of Evangelic Churches, CNCA – National Coordination Welcoming Communities, Scalabrinian Agency for Cooperation and Development, Italian NGOs Association, Baobab Experience, Foundation “Casa della Carità”, Association “A Buon Diritto” and the political party “Italian Radicals”.